Barnstead NH News

September 27, 2017


Early Head Start is accepting applications for children under the age of 3 and for prenatal women. Fun activities, information, support, and learning experiences are provided through home visiting and playgroups. It is free for income eligible families. For further information and to jump start your child’s learning, please call 435-6611.




New Hampshire Burdens StudentsWith High Tuition and Debt


New Hampshire should be ashamed.  It ranks last among the 50 states in higher education funding.  That funding dropped 27% between 2008 and 2015 and continues to lag. The state has relied instead on student-paid tuition, which has risen much more rapidly than family incomes, leaving students with the largest share of loan debt in the country. NH is one of only two states that does not provide need-based scholarship aid to in-state students.


Sununu and the Republican-controlled legislature have again refused to increase higher education funding.  Part of this refusal was political, but the main reason was pure stinginess. Many legislators felt the state could not “afford” it. Yet the state found money to give another tax break to large wealthy corporations by reducing the business tax. 


In fact, the state’s budgetary practices and tax laws often result in a boon to the wealthy, who benefit the most from NH’s absence of income, capital gains, and inheritance taxes.  These practices continue to downshift costs to the state’s towns, most notably in the form of real estate taxes. The same middle class families who are struggling to pay tuition and student debt are also struggling to pay the nation’s third highest real estate taxes.


Almost 60% of NH’s high school graduates attending 4-year colleges leave the state (the highest exodus in the nation).  Many leave for better job opportunities elsewhere, mostly in Massachusetts. Although employment has risen since the recession, the median hourly wage in our state has fallen more than anywhere else in the country except New Mexico.


Demographic projections forecast continuing aging of our population and fewer young people entering the workforce. This does not augur well for our economic future. When will the state change its priorities and start supporting our college students instead of driving them away?


Jane Westlake 

Center Barnstead



SCREENAGERS: Growing Up In The Digital Age

Movie – Free 


SCREENAGERS is the first feature documentary to explore the impact of screen technology (cellphones, computers, gaming systems, etc.) on kids.  It is being shown at Prospect Mountain High School at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 4th.  Parents and community members are encouraged to attend in addition to parents and community members from neighboring towns.  There will be a facilitated discussion following the film.  This event is being co-sponsored by Alton Central School, Barnstead Elementary School, and Prospect Mountain High School.


Physician and filmmaker, Delaney Ruston decided to make SCREENAGERS when she found herself constantly struggling with her two kids about screen time. Ruston felt guilty and confused, not sure what limits were best, especially around mobile phones, social media, gaming, and how to monitor online homework. Hearing repeatedly how other parents were equally overwhelmed, she realized this is one of the biggest, unexplored parenting issues of our time.  


Director Ruston turned the camera on her own family and others—revealing stories that depict messy struggles over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction.  Examples of stories, include Hannah’s, a 14-year old victim of social media bullying that stemmed from her trying to hide her use of social media from her mom. Issues are different for boys and girls, and the film also follows Andrew’s story, a straight-A student whose love of video games spins out of control when he goes off to college and lands in an internet rehab center.


Interwoven into these stories, are insights from thought leaders  as well as leading brain scientists who present evidence on real changes happening in the brain. SCREENAGERS goes far beyond exposing the risks of screen time, but reveals multiple approaches on how parents and educators can work with kids to help them achieve a healthy amount of screen time.



Pioneer Clubs Start Tonight!


Do your kids know what their strengths are?  What are they good at?  What abilities and interests do they have?  You may have been looking for a Christian alternative to Scouts or 4H to provide your child with a rich experience that expands their horizons.  Good news: Pioneer Clubs is returning to Barnstead NH!


Our typical Pioneer Club meeting will include Games, Scripture Memory, working toward your monthly Skill Awards, Small Group Bible Study, and Songs.  Who will have more fun: the kids or the leaders?  Club Members will have matching tee-shirt Uniforms and an Activity Book to accompany their Bible Study lesson.  Awards will be proudly displayed on their Award Lanyard until the end of the year.  Keep an eye out around town for our group; we are planning a hike on Monday October 9th while we are earning our Hiking Award. 


We will meet on Wednesdays from 6pm to 7:30pm at the Center Barnstead Christian Church, located beside the Barnstead Town Hall.  Family Prayer Meeting is held simultaneously.  Sept 27th is our first Pioneer Club meeting. All kids, Kindergarten to 6th grade, are invited to join! For more information, please check out our website at



Oscar Foss Memorial Library News

OFML Celebrating 100 Years!


Join us on Saturday, October 21 for our Centennial Celebration! Festivities begin at 10am and will continue throughout the day for the whole family. Come help us celebrate our 100th anniversary with cake, a history walk, special activities, raffles, and more! We will be unveiling our used book store and our Little Free Book Exchange. Children’s book characters will also be visiting and available for pictures throughout the day.


Please call the library (269-3900) or visit our website ( for more information about any of our programs or events. There is always something happening at the Oscar Foss Memorial Library! Library hours are; Tuesday and Wednesday: 10am-6pm, Thursday and Friday: 12pm-8pm, Saturday: 10am-1pm, Sunday and Monday: closed.



“Barnfield” Christmas Softball Tournament 

Submitted By Craig And Jamie Thoroughgood

Barnstead champs.jpg

The champions.


Barnstead 2nd.jpg

  2nd place.


Barnstead 3rd.jpg

3rd place. 


 Barnstead aijah.jpg

Aijah Thoroughgood delivering gifts and checks to the Pittsfield Fire Department's Dave Simpson.


“Barnfield” is a unique name made up from parts of the Town of “Barn”stead and the Town of Pitts“field.” The 2nd annual “Barnfield” Christmas Softball Tournament was an adult coed softball tournament that was held to benefit the children of Barnstead and Pittsfield. Seven softball teams played the weekend of September 16th and 17th   to raise money for the towns children. We would like to thank the PYBA for use of the fields for the weekend.


Thank you to the following teams for playing. “Santa’s Slammers”, the “Weekend Warriors”, “Angie’s Elves” sponsored by JJP Son & Contractors, the “Grinches,” “Main Street Grill & Bar”, “V.H. Gang,” and “Loudon Country Club.”


Congratulations to “V.H. Gang” for taking home the championship, “Main Street Grill & Bar” for coming in 2nd place, and “Angie’s Elves” for coming in 3rd place!


We would like to publicly thank the following businesses and community members that donated to the event either financially or with gifts: Bell Brothers, RASCO Plumbing and Heating, LLC., AMENICO, Nick Hayes-HHR Enterprises, Crown Trophy, Jitters Café, JJP & Son Contractors,  Epping Well-Pittsfield Office, Kathleen Beltrami, Tim and Estella Henninger, Tim & Tracy Roode, Vanessa You, the employees of Kentek Corporation, Carroll & Brenda Hodgdon Jr., Roberta & Lisa Maxfield, Julie Taylor, Tracy Huyck, Meridian Fire Protection, and the Centeno/Flores Family. We would like to thank Bud and Linda Bedell for running concessions all weekend.  We would also like to thank the 2 Prospect Mountain High School students who came to volunteer and left with community service hours. If I have forgotten anyone’s name I sincerely apologize.


We are happy to say that the tournament was a HUGE success and raised $2050.00! Each town received checks in the amount of $1,025.00! The stipulation is that the money has to be used towards Christmas gifts for needy children this year. Each town will also receive 52 new toys for Christmas!  Meredith Jacques accepted the checks and toys on behalf of the Barnstead Elementary School.  Dave Simpson accepted the checks and toys on behalf of the Pittsfield Fire Department. The PYBA will receive $576.00 from concession stand sales.


As you can see it takes a “small army” to stand behind us to make this such a success. It is an amazing feeling to see people come together and do such a positive thing for two communities, which some are not a part of. To all involved THANK YOU and be proud to be a part of an amazing community. We will all definitely make Christmas morning very special for some children this holiday season!



Executive Councilor, Andru Volinsky, To Address Local Democrats In October


You are invited to hear Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky speak at October’s meeting of the Tri-Town Democrats of Barnstead, Gilmanton, and Alton. Volinsky, a New Hampshire lawyer and advocate, was lead counsel in the Claremont School Funding suit and has represented Dover in its efforts to obtain fair funding for its schools. With a focus on transparency, after every Executive Council meeting, Volinsky posts a report called “The $15 an Hour Spotlight,” revealing the lowest hourly wage for each approved contract. Volinsky believes the state should use its leverage as a major customer for contracted services to insist on a minimum wage of $15 an hour for employees working on state contracts, ranging from highway paving to snow removal. Andru has also been in the news this year for being an outspoken opponent of Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut based on Edelblut’s lack of qualifications for the position. 


The guest speaker will be followed by action items and community organizing.


Join us for the meeting in Gilmanton at the Temperance Tavern at 506 Province Road (Rt. 107) on Monday, October 2nd. Come for socializing and potluck any time between 6:15 pm and 6:30 pm. The meeting runs from 6:30 pm to 8:30pm. 


The meeting is open to any and all residents of Barnstead, Alton, and Gilmanton who consider themselves moderate, liberal, or progressive Democrats or like-minded Independents. Potluck items to share are encouraged but not required. For more information, email or visit the “Barnstead, Alton, and Gilmanton Democrats” Facebook page.













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